Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Choosing and Keeping Friends

Choose friends who support your dreams and goals, even if they don’t fully understand them.

Choose people who allow you to pick your own friends and don’t try to discourage you away from other friendships out of their own jealousy.

Choose people who will invest time and effort into the friendship. One-sided friendships are tiring and demeaning.

Don’t expect your friends to go above and beyond to help you, but appreciate them when they do it. Make sure you reciprocate when the chance arises. Find a reason to reciprocate.

Realize that you and your friends are going to disagree on some things, and that their opinions are just as valid as yours. Their truth may be different from yours, but it’s still their truth.

If friends are getting their opinions from other people, that is not a true friendship. Be wary of relationships based on pack mentality.

Always remember that you don’t know everything that is going on in your friends’ lives/minds/family/job/health/finances.

There is a difference between privacy, secrecy, and lies. We are all entitled to privacy. Sometimes secrecy is necessary for safety. Lies are always toxic.

If you have a problem with a friend, you have three choices: Let it fester inside of you, confront them directly about it, or let it go. Nobody wins with option #1. But option #2 often leads to #3, and peace can be restored.

Sometimes friendships end. People change and so do interests and commonalities. Putting a friendship to rest is not failure, but rather acknowledgment of truth and growth. All friendships will not last forever, and that’s okay. Knowing what you need and from where you can draw strength is maturity, and putting to rest relationships that don’t foster growth or joy is to be commended. There is no good reason to stay in a toxic relationship.